A café business in Ashford has been fined for failing to hold statutory insurance that enables employees to claim compensation should they be injured at work.
Ash Catering Limited, trading as Ashford Café, on Bank Street in Ashford town centre, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after it established there was no valid Employers Liability Compulsory Insurance for the business, as the law requires.
Canterbury Magistrates Court heard yesterday (29 April) that HSE issued a notice to produce a valid ELCI certificate on 27 September 2013 in response to a complaint.
A company director declined to be interviewed on the matter, but later admitted in writing that she was unaware of the requirement to have the insurance.
Ash Catering Limited, of Bank Street, Ashford, was fined a total £400 and ordered to pay a further £400 in costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of Section 1(1) of the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Joanne Williams said:
“As well as being a long-standing legal requirement, Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance offers important protection for employers and employees alike.
“Without it, if a worker becomes ill or is injured at work, they will not be able to claim compensation from the employer. For employers, insurance covers the cost of legal fees and compensation payouts in the event of a claim by a worker.
“Ignorance is not an excuse and the failure of Ash Catering Limited to provide appropriate cover is a serious matter. HSE will continue to take legal action against companies where who fail to provide appropriate ELCI cover.”
Notes to Editors
1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
2. Section 1(1) of the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 states: “Except as otherwise provided by this Act, every employer carrying on any business in Great Britain shall insure, and maintain insurance, under one or more approved policies with an authorised insurer or insurers against liability for bodily injury or disease sustained by his employees, and arising out of and in the course of their employment in Great Britain in that business, but except in so far as regulations otherwise provide not including injury or disease suffered or contracted outside Great Britain.”